Paso Robles plans to take its first steps to find a new police chief Tuesday as the City Council considers inking a contract with a search firm.
Los Gatos-based public sector search firm William Avery & Associates Inc., which has worked with the city since 1981, submitted a written proposal to conduct a $13,900 statewide search with the allowance for expenses of up to $5,500, according to city documents.
The money would come from the city’s general fund. The plan is to select a new chief by year’s end.
City staff solicited the firm for a proposal last month because of its experience with the city. So far, it’s the only proposal obtained by the city for the police chief search, City Manager Jim App said. The council can also choose to solicit additional proposals, he said.
Former police Chief Lisa Solomon, 43, resigned from her position April 2 after public attention swelled around her when a former officer accused her of sexual harassment and another filed a lawsuit claiming officers were required to meet illegal ticket quotas.
The findings of a city investigation into the allegations were never released to the public.
Paso Robles police Capt. Robert Burton is serving as interim chief until a permanent successor is found.
William Avery & Associates has assisted the city with its labor relations and executive searches before, including finding the city’s directors in Paso Robles’ Administrative Services and Community Development departments.
In the past two years, the firm has performed searches for seven police chiefs statewide, including for the cities of Stockton, San Leandro, Port Hueneme and Fairfield, according to the proposal letter.
The firm proposes to meet with App, the Police Officer’s Association and department command staff to “identify key attributes for a new chief.” The firm can also hold a town-hall meeting to seek feedback from the public on what they want in a chief if the city opts for that, according to the letter.
In addition to the search fee, expenses for which the firm requests reimbursement are advertising, clerical, supplies, postage, telephone and consultant travel time for discussions, meetings and interviews.
The finalists in the search would undergo an interview, in-depth background check and City Council review.
The base salary for the chief’s position would range from $124,000 to $157,644 after July 1, according to the city’s compensation plan for nonunionized employees. Internal and external candidates can apply.